Netflix might have declared its plan to crack down on unblockers and VPNs to avoid users country-hopping, but there are still ways to view the different Netflix libraries from other regions. If you’re after one movie in particular, this global Netflix search engine will tell you where to take up virtual residence.
Thanks to different content licensing agreements in different countries, Netflix’s library varies hugely from one region to the next. Canadians have traditionally used VPNs or other unblockers to get access to the US’s superior library of movies, but with Netflix expanding around the world, there’s all sorts of stuff US users can find, if you’re willing to do a little work.
The “unofficial Netflix online Global Search” (uNoGS) takes most of the guesswork out of the process: it lets you search by movie or actor, narrow the results by a few extra fields, and then spits out what movies are available in which countries. From there, users just need to use one of many cheap VPN services, fake the correct country, and let the back episodes of Doctor Who trickle in.
The site is also a wealth of data on which countries have the best and worst libraries, and what VPNs give access to which countries. According to an interview with TorrentFreak, the site’s creator ‘Brian’ initially created the site solely for his own personal use, before putting it online last year.
Releasing it to the wild is likely to have some unintended consequences: Netflix has admitted that it’s under pressure from copyright owners to cut down on country-hopping piracy, and tools like uNoGS only make the practice easier and more high-profile. A searchable catalogue is hardly illegal, but I would be surprised if it lasts in its current format for particularly long. In the meantime, better get watching.